Italian premier describes Russian proposal for peace in Ukraine as 'propaganda'

Giorgia Meloni marks closure of G7 summit, vows continuous efforts to solve conflict in Mideast

09:43 - 16/06/2024 Pazar
File photo
File photo

Italy's prime minister on Saturday described the Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal for peace in Ukraine as "propaganda."

"I believe this has more to do with propaganda than a true, sound proposal for negotiation," Giorgia Meloni told a news conference to mark the closure of the G7 summit held in Italy's southeastern town of Borgo Egnazia.

She stressed the importance for Ukraine to maintain its territorial integrity.

Putin on Friday offered Ukraine peace on four conditions -- Ukraine to withdraw its troops from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions, agree with Russia's territorial gains, confirm its neutral status, and cancellation of all anti-Russian sanctions by the West.

Both Ukraine and the West rejected the proposal as "unrealistic."

The leaders of the G7 countries -- namely the US, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Canada, and Japan -- and the European Union kicked off a three-day summit in the town of Borgo Egnazia, along Italy's southeastern heel.

Other world leaders invited by Italy also attended the summit, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

- Conflict in Mideast

Meloni also vowed continuous efforts to find a solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

"Now what we have to do is to work for peace and it is exactly what we are doing. And to work for peace we have to dialogue, and we have to recognize the right of Israel to be safe … and live in peace, and the right of Palestinians to have their own state to live in, in a peaceful way," the prime minister noted.

Nearly 37,300 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by the Israeli forces since October last year, most of them women and children, and almost 85,200 others injured, according to local health authorities.

More than eight months into the Israeli onslaught, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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